Week 13 Game Notes: Command Vs. Rush
Chicago Rush (8-3)
Vs. Kansas City Command (4-7)
Date: Saturday, June 4, 2011
Kickoff: 1:00pm (Central Time)
Site: Sprint Center
Officials: Tom McCabe(Referee), Jeff Carr (Umpire),
Neil Brunner (Head Linesman), Brad Brunet (Line Judge), Reginald Berry (Back Judge)
Radio: 810 WHB, Announcers Nick McCabe and Stan Weber
All-Time Series Record: The Command lead the series 1-0 over Chicago.
Last Meeting: Kansas City defeated Chicago 58-51 earlier this season on April 22 in Chicago.
Coaches: Bob McMillen (8-3; First Season)
Danton Barto (4-7; First Season)
The Command have put together their first two-game winning streak of the season. Both wins have come on the last play of the game. The Rush have won three in a row and four of five since the Command stunned them in Chicago 58-51. Chicago's winning streak has also had drama with the Rush getting a couple of one-point, last-second victories.
The Command won their only meeting so far against the Rush. That win stopped a three-game losing streak for Kansas City AFL teams against Chicago. The former Kansas City Brigade won their first game against the Rush but lost the next three in 2007 and 2008.
Last Time Out
The Command notched their second straight dramatic victory as Brian Umstead kicked a 23-yard field goal as time expired to beat Spokane 45-42.
"It was a great win for us, a total team victory," coach Danton Barto said.
Outstanding defense carried Kansas City in the first half as Spokane scored only one offensive touchdown as the Command built a 29-14 halftime lead. The Shock started the game with a defensive score, taking back a JJ Raterink fumble to the end zone. The Command answered right back with a Carlton Brown kick return for a touchdown, his first of the year.
The first half ended with a huge play. Spokane lined up for a 47-yard field goal but defensive end Bryan Robinson blocked it so emphatically it bounded back into the end zone where it was recovered by linebacker Bradly Chavez for a touchdown. Robinson tallied 3.5 sacks for the game and earned Riddell Defensive Player of the Game honors.
The teams traded two touchdowns each to start the second half and KC led 42-27. Spokane scored again to draw within 42-34 and onside kicked. Kansas City recovered but failed to get a first down and Umstead missed a 21-yard field goal.
Spokane then went on a 10-play drive and got a two-point conversion to tie the game at 42.
Kansas City then impressively held the ball for the final 4:02 of the game and Barto chose to set up for the game-winning field goal rather than try to score a touchdown despite the fact Umstead had missed his last attempt.
"He's made a lot of big kicks for me in the past," Barto said of his strategy. "I knew he'd come through when we needed him."
"You have to have a short memory," Umstead said of being an Arena Football League kicker.
The Command are on the road for three of their next four games, starting with a trip to Milwaukee for a 7pm game with the Mustangs next Saturday. Milwaukee is currently 3-7.
Last Time Against the Rush
Kansas City, with a record of 1-4, was a decisive underdog when they traveled to face the 4-1 Chicago Rush on April 22. However, the Command got a much needed road win 58-51.
The contest remains one of the most exciting of the year, even after two last-second wins for KC. The game featured three lead changes, three ties, and more momentum shifts than could be counted. The middle of the game was particularly wild with the teams combining for five lost fumbles, two interceptions, a turnover on downs, a missed field goal, and a kickoff net recovery mixed in with eight touchdowns and two field goals in the second and third quarters alone!
After leading 38-30 at halftime, the Command got the ball first to start the second half and quickly scored to take their biggest lead at 44-30. Chicago, though, returned the ensuing kickoff to get back within seven early in the third quarter. Neither team scored for nearly a full quarter until Chicago tied it in the fourth. The teams traded scores throughout the final period until Kansas City's defense forced a turnover on downs in the final seconds to preserve the win.
The Command did not add anyone to the injured reserve list last week. Barring a practice injury no additions to IR are expected this week either. Virtually all the Command players are dealing with the normal aches associated with football, but there were no new major injuries suffered in the win over Spokane.
Inside the Rush
Chicago has won three games in a row and, similar to the Command, two of them have been in thrilling fashion. The Rush started off May by getting blown out at Tulsa, but rebounded the next week to beat one of the league's best, the Arizona Rattlers. The Rush won that game 50-49 after scoring a touchdown, recovering an onside kick, and kicking a game-winning field goal, all in the last :22 seconds.
After a double-digit victory over Dallas that gave them a huge boost in the division, Chicago had a rematch with Tulsa. The Rush scored with no time remaining on a quarterback sneak and the extra point gave them a 49-48 win over the Talons.
The Rush allow just 47 points per game, fourth best in the league. Surprisingly for an 8-3 team, Chicago ranks dead last in total offense, gaining just over 250 yards per game. Chicago is middle of the pack in total defense, but is among the league's top five in turnover margin.
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Arena Football League Stories from May 31, 2011
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